There can be no doubt just how very versatile garden plants are, offering us the chance to add structure, height, texture, colour and year-round interest to our gardens, whatever the aspect or situation.
But did you realise that it’s possible to create the same gorgeous garden, regardless of whether you’re planting in ‘fixed’ spaces such as beds and borders, or in pots and containers – all you need to do is follow our ‘rules’!
Ensure there is space for the plants you choose…
Make sure you have suitable space in your border or, if you’re using pots and containers, that they are suitably sized to accommodate and make the most of the plants you want to grow.
Choose the right medium…
Whether planting in borders or pots, ensure that you use the right planting medium as this makes a huge difference to plant performance, for example if you need to improve drainage, then be sure to add grit.
Choose your spot…
Every gardener is sure to have heard the phrase ‘right plant, right place’ – it’s important to remember that not all plants favour the same conditions, so choose carefully to ensure that your plants will be happy with the situation you have in mind for them.
And if you do choose to use pots and containers – for some or all of your plants – then you’ll benefit from the extra flexibility this gives you too…
- Add pots or move them around to fill seasonal gaps or give your garden a make-over
- Create and change focal points or areas of interest from season to season
- And of course if you move house, you can take all your hard work with you!
We’ve chosen a variety of shrubs and perennials which favour different growing situations, whether planted in borders or containers, below.
For damp, sunny conditions…
The brightly coloured stems of Cornus (dogwood, pictured right) are a stunning addition to any garden, providing glorious Winter colour when most of the garden is sleeping.
Cornus is a deciduous shrub, available in a variety of leaf colours, including some tinged with white margins (such as Cornus alba elegantissima) and small, creamy or white flowers in May and June – they will look great in full sun or partial shade in a damp area of the garden.
Ligularia (pictured right) love boggy conditions and are the perfect perennial for a damp border or beside a pond.
The foliage is large and striking, and the flowers range from slender yellow spikes to large, shaggy narrow-petalled orange daisies.
For damp shade…
The elegant, deciduous Japanese Fern (pictured right) is perfect for lighting up a dark area of the garden. The delicate fronds have deeply cut, bold shape and are grey-green with touches of silver, burgundy and purple. These plants make excellent companions for shade-loving woodland plants and, although it’s deciduous, the long-lasting foliage provides a good span of interest.
For dry conditions, sun or shade…
Grasses offer a huge range of plants to add texture and movement to any garden, and they are suitable for fertile spots in sun or partial shade. They provide year-round interest, from new growth in Spring, through flower heads in late Summer and changing foliage colour through Autumn, before becoming structural features in Winter.
A dwarf, clump-forming variety such a Pennisetum Little Bunny forms a compact mound of green leaves and produces long-lasting tufted flowers above the foliage which, as the name suggests, look like bunny tails. Plant it in full sun for best colour and effect.
Miscanthus sinensis Gold Breeze offers structure on a much bigger scale, producing broad, arching green blades banded with gold yellow bars and in late Summer, feathery plumes emerge from 2m stems. Plant in full sun to partial shade.
For a sheltered site…
Acers or Japanese maples are small, deciduous trees and shrubs grown for their graceful habit, glorious Autumn colour and beautiful foliage. Many grow very slowly, which make them perfect in smaller gardens and great for a large container too.
Grow them in slightly acidic, well-drained, sandy soil with lots of organic matter and in a sheltered position in any position from partial shade through to full sun (as long as they are not south-facing).
For sun or shade…
Heucherellas are a cross between heuchera and tiarella, and these plants are incredibly versatile, offering varieties to suit a full range of garden situations through full shade (such as Heucherella Sweet Tea pictured right, above) to full sun (such as Heucherella Solar Power pictured right, below).
They form clumps or small mounds of evergreen foliage in a range of simply stunning colours. Their wonderful cut leaf shapes are also very striking, and in most varieties are further enhanced by a contrasting colour, producing a lovely two-tone effect.
And if all that isn’t enough they also produce a crop of frothy, white, pink or cream flowers on upright flower stalks in Spring or early Summer too!
Inspired to add something new to your garden?
We have a range of plants to suit all garden aspects, plus a great selection of planting containers and medium too – so visit us in-store NOW, and get your garden picture perfect!